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Your dispatches...being cruel to be kind in Haiti?

Our dispatch from physiotherapist Mike Landry about his efforts to help those injured in the Haiti earthquake...and his doubts about whether he was in fact doing the right thing...prompted a number of emails from our audience.


Sarah Bjorknas wrote from Vancouver:

I don't think there is a definitive answer to his big question, which was essentially "did we do more harm than good by saving their lives without ensuring their future care and acceptance in society?"

From my perspective, based in my belief system, I agree with George who told him that every life has value. It also might seem selfish for me, a healthy and able person, to say that everyone has something to contribute or teach us, even in their difficulty, but that's what I believe.

I also think that someone like Mike Landry can have an impact beyond his patients. I can imagine at least one person in Haiti who will hear the story of someone's recovery from a spinal injury and will be inspired by this ability to (heal), that was previously seen as miraculous. So inspired, that they may find a way to pursue an education in medicine or physical therapy. We never know where the seeds go when the wind blows.

Yvonne Zarowny wrote from Qualicum Beach, B.C. 

Thanks for your excellent story on Haiti and the physio's second thoughts. I think they are very valid. I think most "charitable" organizations, although with some good intent, are basically (there) to make the donors feel good about themselves. Unfortunately, too few do the reflection of your guest. Also, too few are them prompted to ask: why did such conditions exist and why do they persist?

Charity is short-term and needed in emergencies. True self-determining development is long term and requires us rethinking our dominant models of development which includes our current dominant economies.

Please, email your thoughts on this story to dispatches@cbc.ca
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